The controversial Egyptian film "Eshtebak" (Clash, 2016) has been selected to represent Egypt at the Oscars next year.
The committee responsible for selecting Egyptian entries convened on Wednesday at the Supreme Council of Culture and decided to recommend the film for the top movie-world competition. The committee is composed of 17 filmmakers and critics, with 12 attending Wednesday's meeting, including filmmaker Khaled Youssef and film critic Tareq al-Shennawy.
The 98-minute film, written and directed by Mohamed Diab, depicts the political turbulence and uncertainty after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, particularly the conflict between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and those backing the military.
The film was set entirely in the back of a police van, into which both Brotherhood and military supporters had been thrown in the wake of demonstrations following the overthrown of Morsi in July 2013.
The film has been slammed in the Egyptian media for allegedly misrepresenting the range of political opinions in the country and depicting Egypt in a bad light.
However, despite the rough reaction in Egypt, Eshtibak was selected to open the "Un Certain Regard" category at the Cannes Film Festival this year and received several good reviews in the international press.
The movie is co-produced by Preacher Moez Massoud and Mohamed Hefzy.
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